Fred J. Robledo
The top two-ranked teams in the CIF-Southern Section Mid-Valley Division might feel more like underdogs in the second round on Friday. Top-seeded Monrovia (11-0) is at defending champion Paraclete (7-4) a week after the Spirits dismantled La Puente in the first round, 45-0. Olympic League champion Cerritos Valley Christian (8-3), which beat Paraclete in the league finale, whipped La Ca ada 45-0 and will be at No. 2 San Dimas (10-1) on Friday at 7 p.m. With Whittier Christian’s 27-24 win over Mission Valley League champion Arroyo, the Olympic League went 3-0 in the first round.
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“They’re (Valley Christian) the real deal. We knew this was going to be one of our toughest games when the (pairings) came out,” Saints coach Bill Zernickow said. “They’re a spread offense, they like to run all that hurry-up, there are lots of screens, so you have to be prepared for it all. Their athletes are tall, quick and very skilled. We have our work cut out for sure.”
San Dimas will have a team breakfast following Thanksgiving practice and will hope to have a better second-round game than last year’s disaster at Rosemead, in which the Saints fumbled the ball three times in the first eight minutes and lost, 59-22.
“We absolutely love that we’re at home this time,” Zernickow said. “Last year was last year. You can’t turn the ball over much and win playoff football games.
“If we play San Dimas football and hold on to the football a little bit, our defense and special teams have been good enough all season. We do all the little things, we have a good chance of advancing.”